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Friday, 13 April 2012

Not Racist, But...

I am relatively wet behind the ears in Twitter terms, so have little context against which to measure last evening's outpouring of rage amongst my fellow Scottish Nationalists. The reason? The cover of the latest issue of the UK edition of The Economist.

I understand the anger. I was angry too. Where my feelings seem to diverge from some others was in the use of the word 'racist'.

In my view, to disparage a political ambition in such a way may be considered offensive and ill-advised but I do not believe it to be a racially-motivated insult. Even opponents know that the Scottish National Party is as racially-inclusive as any party in this country and certainly more inclusive than some. Goodness, despite claims that we are anti-English, we have a significant number of English members who feel, as residents of Scotland, that the SNP offer the most pertinent solutions to the future of our country.

So, call it what you will. Sensationalist. Provocative. Condescending. Offensive. I can agree with all of those.

Let's also throw in (and I include the accompanying article in this) ill-judged, deceptive and misleading. As a recruiting call, I also believe it will backfire on the cause the Economist seems to support and will drive even more people into the Yes camp.

As interesting as the reactions of my fellow Nationalists were the non-reactions of supporters of the Union. Perhaps they are so accepting of this constant diet of doom, gloom and negativity that they don't even see it anymore. They all claim to want the best for Scotland but seem happy for the media to caustically erode any sense of self-worth the people of Scotland may exhibit.

What they never seem to realise is that the Scottish National Party is not a 'fringe' movement. It embodies a significant proportion of the Scottish electorate and was so popular after one term in minority government that it 'broke' the Holyrood system. When you attack the SNP, in this method at least, you do attack Scotland. Don't let detractors point out that they polled only 45.4% of the popular vote in the elections as if that denotes a failure. In our multi-party system that, effectively, makes them the party of Scotland. As the Unionists continue to twist their words and actions into an ever-tightening spiral of similarity, let them watch those percentages become an absolute majority as well as a parliamentary one.

We have become used to only one of the four main parties in Scotland campaign with positivity. Let us be happy that it is our party, Scotland's party, the Scottish National Party who does so.

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